Timeline Description: The ancient Greek philosopher Socrates taught philosophy in the city of Athens, and played a significant role in the civil life of the city during a tumultuous time. Socrates is best-known through the writings of his student, Plato and for the question and answer method of philosophical discourse, called the Socratic method.
|469 BC||Socrates Was Born(469 BCE)
Socrates was born in 470 or 469 BCE, the son of a sculptor or stonemason and a midwife. He was well-educated as a boy, suggesting that his parents, while workers, were successful.
|431 BC||Peloponnesian Wars(431 to 404 BCE)
While still a relatively young man, Socrates fought in the Athenian army during the Peloponnesian Wars. The exact dates of his service are unknown, but classical sources suggest that he fought bravely and was considered a good soldier.
|427 BC||Plato Was Born(427 BCE)
Plato, the best known of Socrates' followers, was born in 427 BCE. He was still a young man when his teacher died.
|407 BC||Plato Met Socrates(407 BCE)
Plato met Socrates in 407 BCE. At this time, Socrates commonly lectured and discoursed with students just outside the Athenian Agora, as many of the younger men could not enter the Agora.
|406 BC||Socrates Was a Member of the Boule(406 BCE)
In 406 BCE, Socrates served as a member of the Boule, or council of citizens that ran the city.
|404 BC||Arrest of Leon(404 BCE)
Socrates was one of team of individuals assigned to arrest Leon the Salaminian in Salamis. By this time, Athens was an oligarchy, ruled by a small number of individuals. While Socrates went to Salamis, he returned without Leon.
|403 BC||Plato Takes an Interest in Philosophy(403 BCE)
Plato, having already given up playwriting, abandoned his interest in politics for an interest in Socratic philosophy.
|403 BC||Xenophon Was a Disciple of Socrates(403 to 401 BCE)
In 403 BCE, Xenophon, one of the few authors other than Plato that provide information about Socrates, entered the circle of learning around the philosopher.
|399 BC||Athenian Trial of Socrates(399 BCE)
Socrates was tried in Athens for political crimes against the state resulting from infighting in the city government. He had the opportunity to escape during the trial, but did not take it.
|399 BC||Socrates Died(399 BCE)
After the trial, Socrates was condemned to die by poison. He took the poison and died in 399 BCE.
|398 BC||Plato Fled to Megara(398 BCE)
Plato and others in Socrates' close circle fled to the city of Megara following Socrates' death to avoid potential prosecution in Athens.
|385 BC||Plato Founded Academy(385 BCE)
in 385 BCE, Plato founded the Academy to teach philosophy. The best-known of his students, Aristotle, would go on to have a lasting impact of his own.
|335 BC||Aristotle Founded the Lyceum(335 BCE)
In 335 BCE, Aristotle, student of Plato and through Plato, Socratic philosophy, taught Alexander the Great and founded his own school of philosophy, the Lyceum.